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Case Results


Estate of Veach v. City of Rawlins, WY, et al. – Resolved Spring 2019

On December 30, 2015, John Randall Veach was shot and killed by police officers in Rawlins, Wyoming when he attempted to evade arrest by driving away in his pickup truck.  To justify the shooting, the officers alleged that Mr. Veach was driving his pickup truck in their direction, and that they needed to use deadly force for their own safety.  Our investigation — including extensive review of video, photographs, tire marks, and eyewitness testimony by another law enforcement officer — showed a different story.  Just months before trial, the City of Rawlins settled the case for $925,000, one of the largest outcomes in an excessive force case in Wyoming.

Khan, et al. v. Katina Gatchis – Resolved Spring 2019

In December 2017, Katina Gatchis declared that she would not lease commercial real estate to a father and son business team because they were Muslim and not American.  According to Defendant Gatchis, the Khans would “bring all the Muslims from the Middle East and then I have a problem around here.  Bomb, boom. Bomb, boom.”  Utterly shocked and dismayed by these statements, our firm filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Khans as well as Craig Caldwell, the individual who had been trying to convince Ms. Gatchis to allow the Khans to lease from her.  Despite there being audio recordings of Ms. Gatchis’ unlawful statements, Ms. Gatchis zealously defended against the litigation.  The case ultimately settled for $675,000 after Ms. Gatchis filed pleadings in court admitting to having violated the law just days before trial was set to commence.

Estate of Byrd v. City of Pueblo – Resolved Summer 2018

In the early morning of February 5, 2017, a City of Pueblo police officer shot and killed Andrew Byrd as Mr. Byrd was driving his car away from the officer.  According to the officer, he believed he saw Mr. Byrd lean over and pick up a gun after ordering Mr. Byrd to step out of the car.  Our investigation uncovered that there were no weapons – let alone a gun – found in Mr. Byrd’s car.  An intensive review of the body camera footage established that the police officer had engaged in an execution-style murder of Mr. Byrd, pausing to aim his gun at Mr. Byrd’s temple as Mr. Byrd drove past.  The officer voluntarily resigned from the police force, and the case settled for $600,000 for Mr. Byrd’s estate.

Estate of Jessica Hernandez v. City and County of Denver, et al. – Resolved Spring 2017

The Jessica Hernandez case made national headline news as the country was swept up in the heartbreaking and tragic death of a teenage girl.  In our estimation, on January 26, 2015, Denver Police Department (DPD) Officers recklessly ran up to the Honda Civic being driven by then-17-year-old Jessie Hernandez and killed her with shots from the side of the car.  Based on our review of the materials in the case, neither officer was in any serious danger at the time shots were fired.  DPD conducted a two-year-long investigation into the shooting death, and it ultimately found that its officers acted within policy, would not be disciplined, and in fact were considered for commendation.

In our view, the DPD officers who shot and killed Jessie violated her Fourth Amendment right to be from excessive, deadly force.  We bolstered our legal analysis with the opinion of a nationally-regarded use of force expert who found that the DPD Officers had acted outside the bounds of best police practices when they shot at Jessie’s vehicle.  The opinion of an accident reconstruction and ballistics expert also confirmed that the officers were not in danger when they fired the lethal bullets.

We were ultimately able to settle Jessie’s case for $1,000,000.  The national attention the case received and our insistence that DPD reconsider its use of force policy ultimately resulted in changes being made to DPD’s high-risk vehicle stop and shooting into moving vehicles policies.

Araujo, et al. v. City of Fort Collins – Resolved January 2017

In September 2016, our law firm brought suit against the City of Fort Collins alleging systemic race and national origin discrimination that had permeated its police force over the past half-century.  Representing two Latino officers, our investigation uncovered countless scenarios where Latinx officers had been treated differently and given fewer opportunities than their Caucasian counterparts.  In January 2017, we resolved the case for $425,000 and numerous systemic changes, including additional training for staff regarding discrimination, harassment and retaliation in the workplace, the creation and development of an independent Equal Employment Opportunity office run through the City Manager’s Office, and a commitment towards achieving a workforce that reflects the diversity of the community within five years of executing the agreement.

Contreras, et al. v. Thomas Wright & Rent-Rite Super Kegs West d/b/a Wright Group Events – Resolved December 2016

Rathod | Mohamedbhai brought claims of wage theft and race and national origin discrimination on behalf of five Latinx workers who were underpaid and mistreated for years under the leadership of Thomas Wright at Wright Group Events.  The case resolved for $200,000 in December 2016 in a Court-approved settlement, which has since been increased to a $300,000 judgment by Court order.

Guzzo, et al. v. State of Wyoming – Resolved in Fall 2014

Our law firm was proud to represent same-sex couples within the State of Wyoming as they challenged the state’s ban on gay marriage.  In October 2014, Judge Scott W. Skavdahl of the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming ruled in favor of the freedom to marry regardless of sex.  The court’s order required the state to allow couples to begin marrying immediately.  The following year, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the fundamental right to marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges.

Ortega et al. v. The City and County of Denver et al. (Denver Diner) – Resolved Fall 2013

This lawsuit became well known throughout Colorado and the nation as the Denver Diner case.  On July 12, 2009, a Denver Police Department officer worked off-duty security at the Denver Diner restaurant when he encountered our client being attacked by another patron.  The lawsuit alleged that he dragged our client outside while her friend followed and protested the officer’s conduct.  At the same time, another two of our clients arrived in a bicycle cab in front of the Diner.  As the two women approached the entrance, a second Denver Police Officer, who had arrived as backup, barreled through them.  When our client protested being shoved, the lawsuit alleged that both officers responded with an onslaught of excessive and unnecessary force, including haphazard pepper spraying, shoving our clients to the ground, picking one up by her neck and punching another in the face while handcuffed.  The incident was captured by a High Activity Location Observation (HALO) camera.  Initially hidden by Denver, the surveillance tape was released nearly two years after the event.

The case garnered widespread public and media attention, not only for the egregious incident, but also for exposing the Denver Police Department’s failure to address its systematic problem of unbridled police brutality.  The lawsuit alleged that the officers falsified accounts of the assault of the four women in their reports, omitting numerous details of the force they exercised.  The two officers were eventually fired only after their conduct was brought to light through the lawsuit.

This lawsuit required the interviews dozens of witnesses and review of over one hundred thousand pages of discovery.  We uncovered substantial evidence proving that Denver trains its officers to engage in excessive force, that Denver police officers systemically fail to report excessive force by other officers, and that Denver’s Internal Affairs Bureau routinely whitewashes police misconduct and fails to investigate community complaints.

The Honorable William J. Martinez of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado allowed municipal liability claims to proceed to trial “based on Denver’s custom of failing to adequately and timely investigate citizen complaints for excessive force and to timely and properly discipline the officers implicated therein.”

The case settled for $360,000 prior to trial.  Because of the lawsuit’s exposure of failure to properly train and discipline its officers, Denver has instituted broad changes including the overhaul of the entire Denver Police Department disciplinary hearing system allowing for faster, expedient, and robust discipline.  The work in this case resulted in this law firm being co-awarded the 2013 Colorado Trial Lawyer Association Case of Year.

Susan Chandler v. Adams 14 School District, et al. – Resolved December 2012

Former superintendent Dr. Susan Chandler, through her attorneys at Rathod | Mohamedbhai LLC, and Adams 14 School District, through its attorneys, have negotiated a resolution of the claims arising from Dr. Chandler’s employment.  The District adamantly denies Dr. Chandler’s claims of wrongful termination and maintains it elected not to renew her contract because the District needed a change in leadership.  Its contribution of $380,000 to the total settlement is for the sole purpose of avoiding the expense and time associated with litigation.  It was publicly reported that the total settlement for Dr. Chandler was $700,000.00.

*Disclaimer: Rathod | Mohamedbhai LLC does not guarantee specific results based on previous case results. Individual results vary on a case by case basis.